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Re: [Gnumed-devel] OpenSource drug database

From: Karsten Hilbert
Subject: Re: [Gnumed-devel] OpenSource drug database
Date: Sat, 13 Feb 2010 00:03:56 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-06-14)

On Fri, Feb 12, 2010 at 12:37:39PM +0100, Hilbert, Sebastian wrote:

> I was looking for the state of open source drug databases

My best bet currently would be to lobby Wikipedia to enable
CSV style data export of a given list of pages.

> and came across a 
> supposedly open source drug database from e-md and Oscar's drug database.

e-md has been around for a long time, AFAIR in compiled form
only except that it was free of cost

> 1)
> 2)
> I remember drugref. There is a pdf of how it was supposed to work and I 
> believe there even was/is some usable code.

A drugref concept was developed by Horst Herb. It was later
taken over and sort-of-bastardized by OSCAR (in that they
took the name and AFAICT made of drugref something that fits
their bill nicely but doesn't have much to do with the
original concept - I'd be glad to be proven wrong on this).

The thing with raw drug data is that we want/need a data
source that:

- has long-term reliability and timely updates
- delivers machine-readable source data in a text format
- includes ATC codes and INNs linked to products
- includes drug monographies
- includes interaction data
- provides access to free-of-cost development data
- provides a reasonable path for users to obtain the data

If THAT were the case it'd be useful to take on the task of
writing a frontend for it directly integrated with GNUmed.
Until then I'd opine for integrating access to *external*
database frontends and not trying to access the data
directly. GNUmed, however, locally caches what data it can
get hold of and knows how to make use of (currently: ATC
code, INN, brand name, strength, preparation).

If people can define use cases for partials of the above and
appropriately show how to go about it I'm all for better
integration of that into GNUmed.

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